Lent 2019 – Changing Our Hearts and Lives

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“But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” -Matthew 6:3

Who are the poor? The Bible tells us that it is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.  I have provided a link below for compassion.com and it provides many verses found in the Bible that speaks about the poor and our responsibilities to care for them.  In our world today, poor is characterized and seen in many ways.  Poor is not merely a lack of finances, it affects all aspects of a person’s life including their mental, emotional, physical aspects as well as their social economic and environmental plights in life.

1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Luke 6:20-21, “Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the news you hear and see everyday?  I certainly do, I work in an environment where my day is filled with sights and sounds of local, regional, and national news and it can be very discouraging.  Hearing stories of crimes, educational deficits, healthcare shortages and rising costs of care and medications, stories of abuse of all age groups, homelessness, hunger and the list seems to grow daily.  What and where to help given all these travesties.  A single person cannot fill the voids and give to each of these causes, although they are all equally important and vital causes.  So, what to do?

Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

First, pray and seek God, listen for the Spirit’s call and then act.  Each of us were created for a purpose and given significant gifts to accomplish our purpose.  Some people are called to work with victims of abuse, while others are equipped to serve the homeless, others are educators, some are great listeners and other encourage, life cheerleaders, no matter what your gifts are use them faithfully for God, the rewards you will receive will bring you more joy than your heart can even imagine.  By helping the poor, anyone who is in need of help is serving God and connects us with God in a deeper and more meaningful relationship.

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Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

When thinking about the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, our “giving” is rooted in the understanding that when we see the poor, we are seeing Jesus.  When this occurs, we are changed, transformed, converted and renewed. We are living out loud,WWJD! What Would Jesus Do? Exactly…now go in peace knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ lives in you, through you and is always with you!

Breath Prayer: In the poor…let me see you. ~Amen

~Peace~

References:

https://biblegateway.com

https://www.google.com/search?q=helping%20hand%20poverty&tbm=isch&client=safari&hl=en-US&ved=0CBUQtI8BahcKEwjg9I2XvvTgAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBg&biw=375&bih=549

https://www.compassion.com/poverty/what-the-bible-says-about-poverty.htm

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